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  • Writer's pictureChambers of Daksha Kumar

A woman can’t be compelled to go to work merely because she is educated: Bombay High Court

Updated: Jun 15, 2022

In our society, women's primary role is to manage household tasks rather than to go out and earn a living for the family. The idea of a woman helping to finance a home is still foreign to most people. As a result, going out and working is always a choice for a woman, rather than a necessity. She is free to go out and work if she wishes. She cannot, however, be forced to work if she prefers to stay at home.

According to Indian law, she has complete freedom to work or stay at home. The fact that a woman is educated and holds a degree does not obligate her to work.

"If tomorrow I decide not to give up my duties as a judge and choose not to work anymore, Will you say that because I am a qualified judge, I am unable to sit at home?" the judge of Bombay High Court stated while hearing a revision application filed by a husband against a family court order to pay maintenance to his wife who, according to the husband, is earning well.

According to the husband's lawyer, the wife has a steady income and does not require maintenance funds. As a result, the family court ruling is unjust and should be overturned.

The case is around a couple who got married in 2010 and eventually separated in 2013 owing to some disputes. Following the separation in 2013, the wife filed a domestic abuse complaint against her husband and his family. After a year, she filed a petition for restitution of conjugal rights and began procedures under Indian Penal Code Section 498A (cruelty).

She filed another petition to ask for maintenance under section 125 of the Cr.P.C. The family court accepted the maintenance petition and ordered the husband to pay Rs. 5000 to his wife and Rs. 7000 to his daughter.

The husband appealed against the verdict to the High Court, claiming that he didn't have enough money to give his wife maintenance because he spent most of his money on court proceedings initiated by his wife.

He further claimed that his wife hides her income source from the court on purpose and that she is financially capable of supporting their daughter and herself.

As a result, he petitioned the court to dismiss the family court's order and made the remark about the educated women should go to work.

The court, however, was not pleased with the remark that educated women should go to work and stated that it is a woman's decision whether to work or stay at home and that she cannot be forced to do anything against her wish under any circumstances.

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